FRANKFORT, Ky. – As important as it is to make home repairs as soon as possible following a natural disaster, it is also important to take some time to plan the project, consult with local officials and choose a contractor wisely.
Before You Start:
- Contact the local permitting office. Follow all local and state requirements.
- Check with your local building official to make sure your work is safe and meets all local and state codes and requirements.
How to Help Reduce Future Damage:Language English
A hepatitis B-like virus has been found for the first time in fish. A team of USGS researchers found the virus in white sucker from the Great Lakes Region using gene-sequencing technologies.
How the recently discovered hepatitis B-like virus is transmitted between fish is not yet understood, and it is unlikely to be communicable to humans.
“To date, a hepatitis B virus has never been found before in fish and we now have evidence that it infects fish in geographically distant river systems in the Great Lakes region,” said lead author Cassidy Hahn, a USGS scientist and graduate student at the University of West Virginia. “This new virus is similar, but also very different from hepatitis B-like viruses found in mammals and birds, and may be a new genus.”
The hepatitis B virus is a small, spherical, enveloped virus, previously known only in two groups--one that infects humans and other mammals including orangutan, gibbons, gorillas and chimpanzee; and the other that infects birds.
The white sucker is considered an indicator species, which is native to river systems in the Midwestern and Northeastern United States. Their widespread distribution and life-history have made them a target species in numerous contaminant monitoring and effects studies. White sucker are bottom feeders, spending most of their lives in close proximity to the bottom of rivers, because of this they are in contact with contaminants associated with the river bottom.
The DNA of an organism is like a recipe book for making all of the proteins necessary for life. Those instructions are coded as genes and are conveyed to protein making factories in the cell via messenger ribonucleic acid molecules. In order to develop tools to evaluate how these fish were utilizing their DNA (responding to their environment), the RNA from liver tissue was sequenced using contemporary high throughput RNA-sequencing methods. This approach allows for decoding the usage of this blueprint.
In general, hepatitis-B viruses have a narrow host range and infection manifests in various ways. In mammals, these viruses infect and multiply in liver cells and are typically associated with acute and chronic liver diseases including fibrosis, cirrhosis, bile duct cancer, and hepatocellular carcinoma. It is estimated that 350 million people are chronically infected with HBV. Hepatitis B viruses in birds are not normally associated with these liver diseases. The potential effects on fish are currently unknown.
According to the research team, the hepatitis “B-like” virus found in the fish is about as similar to the human hepatitis B virus as it is to the bird hepatitis B viruses.
“This new virus may improve our understanding of the evolutionary history of hepatitis B-like viruses,” said USGS biologist Luke Iwanowicz, study coauthor. “There have been considerable scientific efforts focused on identifying the origins of hepatitis B -like viruses. The genome of this new virus has features not present in any known virus from this family. It is a very exciting discovery.”
According to the researchers, the study may offer the opportunity to develop a new model system to investigate host – pathogen interactions and benefit human medical research.
Part of a joint U.S. Fish and Wildlife/USGS Great Lakes Initiative Project, the study, Characterization of a Novel Hepadnavirus in the White Sucker (Catostomus commersonii) from the Great Lakes Region of the USA, by Cassidy M. Hahn, Luke R. Iwanowicz, Robert S. Cornman, Carla M. Conway, James R. Winton, and Vicki S. Blazer is available in the Journal of Virology online.
PINE RIDGE, S.D. – The Oglala Sioux Tribe and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are reminding those impacted by the May 8-29 storms that the deadline to register for disaster assistance is right around the corner. The deadline date is October 6.
Registration is the first step to receiving disaster assistance. Individuals can register in person at the Disaster Recovery Center at the SuAnne Big Crow Recreational Center, 1 Positive Pl. - E HWY 18, Pine Ridge. The DRC is open Monday thru Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.Language English
DENTON, Texas – Texas faced multiple challenges in September 2005. Hurricane Rita made landfall in the state while it was also housing and sheltering Hurricane Katrina evacuees who were displaced less than a month earlier.
More than $1 billion in federal disaster assistance has fueled Texas’ recovery efforts in the last decade. The assistance includes funds to repair and rebuild infrastructure, housing for disaster survivors and mitigating against future disaster events.
DENTON, Texas ––In mid-February, new flood maps for Aransas County will become effective and be used for rating flood insurance policies. Local, state and federal officials encourage residents to view the maps before Wednesday, February 17, 2016, in order to understand their flood risk and then consider buying flood insurance.Language English
DENTON, Texas –Homeowners, renters, and business owners in St. Mary Parish, Louisiana are encouraged to review newly revised preliminary flood maps to determine their flood risks and make informed decisions.Language English
DENTON, Texas – After working together for months to create new preliminary flood maps, officials from Rogers, Tulsa and Wagoner counties and communities, as well as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) now want to hear from the public.
Homeowners, renters and business owners in these three counties are encouraged to review the preliminary flood maps to understand where flood risks have been identified. Anyone who has comments or who would like to file an appeal has until December 7, 2015 to submit them.Language English
SAIPAN, CNMI – Only two days remain for Typhoon Soudelor survivors to drop off household hazardous waste, large appliances (white goods) and electronics at Kobler Air Field.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the CNMI Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality worked together to provide this option to people who lost such goods to typhoon damage. Residents can bring their household hazardous waste, white goods and electronics that were damaged by Typhoon Soudelor to the old Kobler Air Field on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 25 and 26, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Traffic advisory for Delaware Seashore State Park Saturday, Sept. 26 during MS Society’s “Bike to the Bay” fundraiser
Scientists with the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) and the U.S. Geological Survey recently studied silver carps’ reaction to sound at the USGS Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center (UMESC) in La Crosse, Wisconsin. The researchers found that silver carp reacted strongly to complex noises such as underwater recordings of boat motors, consistently swimming away up to 37 times in succession. The results are published in the journal Biological Invasions.
“Silver carp threaten many waterways in the Great Lakes basin by competing with native species,” said USGS UMESC Director Mark Gaikowski. “Understanding silver carp behavior is critical for determining effective techniques to minimize the ecological and economic damage of this invasive species.”
Brooke Vetter, a UMD graduate student and lead author of the report, positioned speakers at both ends of outdoor concrete ponds. She compared the carps’ response to pure tones, which sound like a dial tone, to their response to more complex noises. The fish adjusted to the pure tones, never swimming away more than two consecutive times, but continuously responded negatively to complex sound.
“Our complex noise findings suggest that certain sounds could be used to divert silver carp away from strategic points on waterways or herd them into nets,” Vetter said.
Results from this study have provided the foundation for the UMD, USGS and Illinois Natural History Survey to conduct field trials testing the efficacy of complex noise as a silver carp control tool in the Illinois River.
Silver carp are reshaping river ecosystems through competition with native fish and mussels for the plankton that form the base of aquatic food webs. In regions of the Illinois River where carp populations are the most abundant, carp account for a large percentage of the river's biomass.
Silver carp also present a danger to boaters because fish as large as 20 pounds can jump 10 feet out of the water, causing injury and damaging boats.
Three weeks remain for National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) insurance policyholders to submit their Hurricane Sandy Claims for review by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The last day to submit claims is Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015.Language English
Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Obama's disaster declaration issued for the State of California.
Assistance for Affected Individuals and Families Can Include as Required:Language English
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency announced that federal disaster aid has been made available to the State of California and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by the Valley Fire on September 12, 2015, and continuing.
The President's action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in Lake County.Language English
SAIPAN, CNMI – Federal aid to Typhoon Soudelor survivors on Saipan has passed $25 million.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved just over $20 million in Individual Assistance to households on the island, and the U.S. Small Business Administration has approved nearly $5.9 million in low-interest disaster loans to Saipan homeowners, renters and businesses.
FEMA provides grants while SBA lends money at below-market rates to survivors.Language English
SAIPAN, CNMI – Typhoon Soudelor survivors on Saipan can learn how to build or rebuild to reduce the likelihood of damage the next time disaster strikes. Federal Emergency Management Agency Mitigation experts know how and are sharing.
FEMA Mitigation specialists are at the following location to discuss specific ways to rebuild with anyone who stops by. They will have free booklets and pamphlets with more details on how to rebuild.
The first in a series will be:
Tuesday, Sept. 22, through Sunday, Oct. 4: